Euro U21 - Ince wants to only look forward

Tom Ince believes the new-look England Under-21s can make amends for the unacceptable performances seen at this summer's European Championship.

PA Sport
Euro U21 - Ince wants to only look forward

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Tom Ince, pictured, believes England Under-21s can kick on under new boss Gareth Southgate

Having headed to Israel on a run of nine successive wins without conceding, the Young Lions returned home in shame after failing to take a point.

The woeful performance brought Stuart Pearce's six-year reign to an end and left players like Ince embarrassed.

The Blackpool winger is one of several players still eligible for the team and believes under new boss Gareth Southgate they can kick on.

"You can ask any player that was involved in that squad and they will be the first to put their hands up and say that was not good enough from an England side at any level," the 21-year-old told Press Association Sport.

"We know more than anyone it wasn't acceptable, but we have to move on, we can't worry about the past.

"We have to look at the new regime, look at the games coming up with the Under-21s and make sure that when the time comes around for the 2015 championships in the Czech Republic we do a lot better than we did in the summer."

England got their qualifying campaign under way on Thursday, with a1-0 win over Moldova that was far more dominant than the scoreline suggests.

Ince missed the match due to a groin tear that also saw him England's 6-0 friendly win against Scotland, but he hopes to be back soon.

"I watched them the other night against Moldova," he said, speaking at the Danone Nations Cup at Wembley. "The scoreline should have been more. We know that, but it is just starting off.

"There is a whole new bunch of players in there and if I am called up next time I will be more than excited to represent my country again and make sure we have a better time than we did in the summer."

Ince's immediate focus, though, is continuing Blackpool's fine start to the campaign.

The Tangerines, managed by his father Paul, sit top of the SkyBet Championship thanks to the winger's match-winning goal on his return to action against Watford last weekend.

Even better news for Blackpool is that highly-rated Ince is happy where he is, despite reported interest from Tottenham and other Premier League clubs.

"Sometimes it is hard for young English players at the top end of the Premier League," the former Liverpool player said.

"You look at Tom Carroll, Andros Townsend, Danny Rose - there are players who have to take that step backwards to take a step forwards.

"I am happy playing my football with Blackpool, I am happy playing in the Championship because it challenges me still.

"Listen, my dream is to go and play in the Premier League and try to follow my ambitions but it is about timing for me.

"People need to realise there is some fresh young talent in the Championship that are raring to go, to be involved in the under-21s or the senior teams."

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